Louise Nichols

Senior journalist

From cattle to coal. Once a specialist agriculture writer today its about community, in particular, the Upper Hunter. I have lived and worked in the region for more than 30 years. Land use issues and the future direction of our region. But you cannot take ag out of the picture - our food and how we grow it is the basis of all life. Covering the Hunter and Mid North Coast rural issues is now part of my role with Fairfax Media.

Latest Stories

Exclusion fencing – a game changer

Exclusion fencing – a game changer

The installation of an exclusion fence on an Upper Hunter grazing property has transformed the now protected paddocks by enabling pastures and crops to thrive.  

Sarah awarded a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship

Sarah awarded a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship

Being awarded a 2017 Nuffield Scholarship will enable Hunter Valley based farmer Sarah Sivyer to travel overseas and visit innovative small scale farming enterprises.  

Vale: Brian Brooker

Vale: Brian Brooker

The Rouchel community in the Upper Hunter has lost one of it’s great characters with the passing of Brian Brooker but his legacy will live on, particularly through his Main Camp Angus and Australian Stock Horse (ASH) bloodlines, and his ability and willingness to share his astute livestock knowledge with younger people.  

Hunter’s semillons impress

Hunter’s semillons impress

Undertaking her first judging assignment in Australia, wine journalist Elaine Chukan Brown, enjoyed the experience immensely as it came with a long list of firsts including using wine glasses polished by soldiers.  

Toxins thanks to power stations

Toxins thanks to power stations

Communities up to 50km from coal-fired power stations are being damaged by toxic emissions, a report has found.

Sugarloaf Angus in demand

Sugarloaf Angus in demand

In one of the best bull sales ever conducted on the coast longterm Angus breeder Jim Tickle achieved an outstanding average of $9433 and total clearance at his first on-property sale held at "Sugarloaf' Dungog.  

Bonny Brooke Angus av $6884

Bonny Brooke Angus av $6884

Bonny Brooke Angus enjoyed one of their best on-property sales to date with bulls topping at $9000 to average $6884.  

Showing beef cattle new rules

Showing beef cattle new rules

Local show societies may need to build new facilities to ensure beef and dairy cattle are completely segregated on showgrounds thanks to the new farm bio-security rules that incorporate specific Johnes disease measures.  

Hillside Meat’s ethical farm

Hillside Meat’s ethical farm

Driven by a desire to farm ethically and make a profit has seen Macleay Valley farmers Lesley Keevil and Colin Meehan adopt diversity and embrace direct marketing.  

Big dry hurting cattle prices

Big dry hurting cattle prices

First the good news our weather gurus say we are not expected to be hit by an El Nino this year however that doesn't mean we are going to enjoy lots of rain.  

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